Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

RSS Subscribe to email

Widespread rainfall as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie moves slowly across the southwest Kimberley


Issued Wednesday 4 January 2023

Ex -Tropical Cyclone Ellie is hovering to the east of Broome and will remain there throughout Wednesday, before moving slowly east to south eastwards later tomorrow (Thursday)

The risk of widespread heavy to intense rainfall, flash flooding, riverine flooding, road closures, damaging wind gusts, community isolation and l severe thunderstorms is expected to continue this week.

Gale force winds, intense rainfall, possibly leading to inundation of low-lying areas, is likely to impact Broome and nearby areas through Wednesday and Thursday, easing on Friday. Daily rainfall amounts of 100 - 200mm with isolated rainfall of 250 mm and very isolated of 300 mm are possible.

In the 24 hrs to 9am Wednesday the highest rainfall was 282 mm at Country Downs (just to the north of Broome) and 206.4 mm at Broome Airport.

Flooding has now exceeded the 2002 flood event of 13.95 m along Fitzroy Crossing, where it is expected to peak at 15.8 m on Wednesday. Flooding downstream is expected to exceed 2002 levels in Noonkanbah and Willare, with record levels likely.

This flooding is impacting road conditions in the Fitzroy River catchment. Many roads are impassable, and most communities are now isolated.

The risk of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie moving offshore and redeveloping into a Tropical Cyclone has decreased and is now only a low risk.

The most likely scenario is it will remain inland from Broome, before accelerating towards the south-east over the southern Kimberley and north interior on Friday, reaching the Western Australia Northern Territory border on Saturday.

This movement will bring a further round of heavy rainfall and strong winds to some areas already impacted by the system.

The Bureau will continue to monitor the situation and update warnings and forecasts as required.

Communities are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings through the Bureau's website and BOM Weather app and follow the advice of DFES (Department of Fire and Emergency Services) at Emergency WA.